Mass. to highlight importance of tourism to local economy, honour key players in the industry

BOSTON - Massachusetts political and business leaders are gathering in Boston to highlight the importance of tourism to the local economy and honour those who have helped make the state an attractive destination.

Tourism is one of the key industries in Massachusetts, accounting for nearly $18 billion in direct spending last year, $1.1 billion in state and local taxes as well as supporting 126,500 jobs that generated $3.6 billion in wages. The industry brought nearly 23 million domestic and international visitors last year.

Monday's annual Governor's Conference on Travel and Tourism at the State House will celebrate those achievements and honour key players in the industry. Those being honoured include the city of Salem for its highly successful efforts to promote itself to a broad base of visitors as well as niche markets.